First of all, sorry for the lack of posts (and the lack of comments on your blogs in recent weeks). Life has been pretty hectic lately. I will re-open my practice in November and the preparations for that take their own sweet time. I also build some custom furniture for our living room, prepared my tax statement for last year and helped Prodos Games at Spiel in Essen for 5 days last week. So I had my work cut out for me.
But now it is time again for some miniatures. I know I neglected historical stuff pretty badly this year in favor for Warzone. So now there was some urgent need to remedy that. In this case in the guise of two Panzerwerfer 42 for WWII. The models are Warlord Games 1:56th scale models. As many know, I usually prefer 1:48th scale, but this is the only model on the market and with light tanks or units that operate away from the battle tanks (like artillery) I can live with it. The model itself is really nice. Easy to assemble. hardly anything to clean up and nice crisp castings. So nothing to complain about here. I only did two models. Usually they would operate in larger batteries, but under the Battlegroup rules we are using there is hardly any chance you will see more than two on the tabletop, so this will suffice.
I contemplated for a long time how to paint them. In a simple one tone Sandgelb or with a camo over spray. In the end I opted for the former. Nearly all my WWII German tanks are simple paint jobs, which I want to change in the future (also reworking most of my old models). So I wanted to try out some things like, panel highlighting, pinpoint washes, wear marks and pastel chalks. I did not want to over complicate that by adding camo as well. I was quite happy with how the first techniques worked out, but somehow the pastel messed things up. Strangely enough, I did both launchers back to back, using exactly the same method, but for some reason the Werfer #04 looks better than Werfer #02. No idea why!
Ok, so this is good, but if we are honest, what we all want is something more animated for the tabletop. Panzerwerfer give a nice opportunity for that with their very visible firing. So I chose to do some alternative launchers for them. Many thanks to Andy H. at Warlord. When this idea first formed in my mind during our holiday in Scotland, I contacted him to see if it was possible to get two separate launchers and he instantly played along.
So the next step was looking at some footage of the launchers in action:
Which turned out to be quite a let down. For one the rate of fire is pretty slow by modern standards (this is due to the fact that the operator actually had to manually wind up a spool and only when enough electricity had built up would the next rocket fire) and that the rockets seem to leave far less of smoke trail than one would expect. Being a wargamer though, I wanted things to look more impressive, so one launcher (up onto the #02 model for this photo session) is firing three rockets, with one just leaving the launcher and the other two already in flight. In really life the first rocket would already be far further away when the second one launched, but this way it looks better. I also used more smoke for all launchers.
So how was it done? Well the rockets are just bamboo skewers cut to the shape of a rocket and painted in an appropriate colour. The rest of the skewer was just painted off white to hide inside the smoke. The tubes were drilled open, so the would take the skewers. After those were glued to the launchers, I wrapped cushion stuffing around the skewers (good thing I had built the furniture a couple of days ago). For the launcher that was just firing a single rocket this was simple. with the other one, that contained more rockets and ones that were further away, I needed a counterweight, which is a modeled base with a larger rock on it. The base is now invisible under the smoke trail, but I still know that it is there, in case the “smoke” ever shifts. Last I airbrushed the stuffing with VAL Israeli Sand to give it the look of exhausts and that was is.
Hope you enjoyed this! It is only six days now till Crisis in Antwerp and I shall try my best to get some more models done till then (I still need a couple of Honey tanks for my Brits). So I hope there will be more to show over the next few days!
[Edit 5th Nov. 2014: I am really amazed… these even got a mention in todays Warlord Games newsletter! Thanks guys!]